WASHINGTON -- Today the members of the Congressional Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) commended the passage of legislation to help set the U.S. on a road to global leadership in the production of solar energy technology. H.R. 3585, the Solar Technology Roadmap Act- a SEEC legislat
WASHINGTON — Today the members of the Congressional Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) commended the passage of legislation to help set the U.S. on a road to global leadership in the production of solar energy technology.
H.R. 3585, the Solar Technology Roadmap Act- a SEEC legislative priority sponsored by SEEC member Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.)- passed in the House of Representatives today by a vote of 310 - 106. This legislation seeks to enable American solar companies to better compete in a burgeoning worldwide industry by investing in solar energy research and development and by establishing a responsive public-private partnership (called the "Roadmap Committee") that will guide and direct these investments to better meet the needs of the American industry.
"This bill lays the roadmap for the U.S. to lead in solar energy," said SEEC co chair Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), a co-sponsor of H.R. 3585. "The steering committee established by this bill will be able to respond and address the scientific needs and demands of the growing U.S. solar industry. I commend Congresswoman Giffords for her outstanding work on this bill."
"H.R. 3585 will help to ensure that solar energy technology, and the clean-energy jobs that come with it, are produced here in the United States. I commend the Congresswoman for her work on this legislation," said SEEC co chair Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), whose amendment to require the Roadmap Committee to consult with other federal agencies on the potential for solar demonstration projects on federal lands was included in final passage of the bill.
"This country actually invented the first photovoltaic technologies, and we still have some of the smartest, most talented people in the world working to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of solar cells today," said Giffords, adding that the committee established by her legislation will help guide solar research and development investments most effectively.
"The U.S. has an opportunity to be the leading developer and exporter of clean solar technologies… This bipartisan bill is designed to advance that goal."
A second term Congresswoman from southern Arizona, Giffords is among the most enthusiastic congressional supporters of American solar production. In June, Giffords worked with SEEC members Reps. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) in passing provisions within H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act that would allow the federal government to increase its use of solar energy.
In a SEEC letter supporting H.R. 3585, coalition leadership wrote that "an increased commitment to solar technology is necessary to ensure that the clean-energy jobs of the twenty first century are created and sustained here in the United States.
"This bill will invest the essential resources needed to research, develop and demonstrate American solar energy technology; and will instruct the Department of Energy, solar industry and academia to collaborate in establishing a roadmap for the U.S. to lead the world in this promising industry in the coming decades."
Other SEEC co-sponsors of H.R. 3585 were Reps. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.); Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.); Susan Davis (D-Calif.); John Hall (D-N.Y.); Deborah Halvorson (D-Ill.); Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.); Jim Himes (D-Conn.); Jay Inslee (D-Wash.); Mike Honda (D-Calif.); Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.); Jared Polis (D-Colo.); Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.); Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.); and Peter Welch (D-Vt.).